Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Trademark Law: Marlboro's now produced and distributed by Benson & Hedges of Toronto

Those Canadians familiar with the Marlboro brand in the US and everywhere else in the world, but who could never buy those cigarettes in Canada due to the Trademark "Marlboro" being owned by The Tuckett Tobacco Company Limited of Hamilton, Ontario since 1932.

Tuckett's ownership prevented the sale of Marlboro's by Philip Morris in the US (I would gather the Tuckett's had a licensing demand that was unreasonable to big MO, or a competing product that was sold locally or in select markets. Other theories abound).

Now the brand is owned by Marlboro Canada Limited, 3711 St. Antoine Street, Montreal, PQ.

And ... now they are manufactured and distributed in Canada by Benson & Hedges, but the trouble is you cannot see them in Ontario thanks to a law, that in my opinion is likely unconstitutional (I am not a lawyer but a student of law generally).

The anti-smoking zealots have covered the tobacco "we" can buy for our relaxation and health in some cases, but now yes, Marlboro's are now available, but kind of secretly. In three strengths: Regular, Light, and Silver.

I prefer he Lights when in the US and they are as tasty in Canada now too, but at premium brand prices. The Silver's are girl material in my opinion as they are much harder to draw nicotine and tar into your body.

Now of course I am a smoker.

Why do I smoke as an intelligent guy?

At least 3 reasons.

1) It helped relieve my ulcerative colitus so much so I need no more medication to not bleed and feel aweful all day long.

2) I write. When I write I like to concentrate. To aid my concentration, cigarettes appear to help. I would suggest scientifically it comes from oxygen deprevation and forced increase in metabolism, heart rate up, blood flow up, brain getting more nutrients and higher electrical flow from all nerves throughout the body. The information with the nervous is transmitted at then an even faster rate, with better "comprehension."

3) Ancestral Identification. I believe that native north and south Americans used tobacco as a healing product i.e. a medicine, for religious purposes, for war and trade, and for mystical shamanism. Tobacco to me has always relieved any anxiety, made me relax, eliminated any tremors in my hands or fingers, and made me a better "artist" in however way I term it in relation to my various crafts, professional or otherwise. For the ancestral part, I was born in Canada, and adopted quickly after my birth. I have not hyphen for Statistics Canada to ask about. I am a native Canadian firmly in my mind.

With the recent publication by the Toronto Star of the "Lung Cancer Trigger Discovered" as being genetic, one wonders if perhaps the cigarette companies are preparing for one heck of an assault.

I know personally, that I look at some of the research results that Health Canada by law or regulation requires on cigarette packages, and sometimes ask questions like these:

If smoking causes lung cancer, what happens to people who don't smoke and die of lung cancer? Now with the gene research, we have an answer. It is not second hand smoke. It is genetic.

Also if smoking causes lung cancer, why do some old people who smoked all their life in many countries including Canada, not die of lung cancer? HUH?

Joni Mitchell started at age 9, and still smokes at 39 ...

Closer to home, one member of my family, started at 13 and smoked till they were hospitalized at age 86 to die of some speciously unnecessary testing, 5 days later. They did get a few smokes in as I took them outside and followed their wishes, respectfully.

Next, if smoking causes those ugly teeth, why does not the person's dentist do something? Can't afford a dentist? That is not a health issue but a political economic issue.

Next, erectile dysfunction? Hmmm ... with Viagra causing blindness in 1 of 10,000 men, and well me having no problems down there, or rather up there where it points, what are they referring to: obese men who have also have high blood pressure and overtaxed hearts? Those men who do not exercise or use it (and lose it!).

I would like to see the scientific basis of the Health Canada's claims that it forces on tobacco merchants. Of course that is protected information and the scientists at Health Canada have to quit to remain ethical to their scientific calling or their medical calling.

I would also like to see if the conflicts that other doctors representing specialties such as psychiatry have had similar task forces on the conflict of interest with dr's and the pharma companies: see INTERACTIONS WITH THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY TASK FORCE REPORT

It states in its opening paragraph:

This report resulted from a growing recognition and concern within our own department and more broadly across the profession of medicine of the perceived and real conflict of interest in the complex relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

The realities that underpin this relationship – that physicians often need to prescribe
medications to achieve desired therapeutic goals for their patients; that industry often generates research-based medications to improve treatment; that industry views physicians as the rate limiting step in the prescription of their medications; and that industry is, primus inter pares, a business that must profit to survive – establish the potential for both confluence of and conflict of interest. At the same time, as a researchfocused and productive academic department, we have enjoyed high-level collaborations with industry in both basic and clinical science that have been investigator-initiated and governed by stringent research ethics requirements. In addition, at the level of the Faculty of Medicine, recently harmonized research ethics guidelines regulate this research interaction with industry.
I would also like to see the tobacco companies take the legal action to cause Health Canada to refrain, or do advertising on the science of smoking but of course that has been made illegal by statute law.

The critical question: do we have, as smokers any rights here under are Charter of Rights and Freedoms to smoke? Companies do not get Charter Protections. People do.

Anyone want to fight back rather than switch to nothing?

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